Save Dangdut! (TM)

Nov 9th, 2009, in Society, by

Evie TamalaAn impassioned plea for dangdut music on TPI and an ode to its earthy soulful charms.

Save Dangdut! (TM)

Seksi Friend,

Neither Man – nor Woman – can live on Nasi alone: we need Dangdut.  But Seksi Friend, yet another great institution is under fire, one which gives hope and light to millions of struggling Indonesians every day it airs.

TPI Dangdut is facing closure.  No. More. TPI. Dangdut.

We must act together.  We must act to...

Save Dangdut! (TM)

Music, as my ex-girlfriend Madonna once sang, brings the people together.  Today, old IM sparring partners, Mr. Ross and Drs. Achmad stand together, united, in our call to you, dear readers, to help save TPI Dangdut and the spirit of freedom across Indonesia.

Ah, Dangdut. Its aching melodies, winding and gyrating through the tin shanties of the Kampung, the macet, the crackling radio, are sweeter than honey. The Indo-Arabic pulse of Dangdut tells of love, of loss, and sometimes silly things like staying up late with your friends or two people eating out of one plate.

Elvy Sukaesih. Evie Tamala. Rhoma Irama. Meggy Z.  There are many more, Seksi Friend. The likes of Diponegoro, Si Pitoeng, and Gen. Nasution may be heroes of combat and the physical revolution.

What of the revolution of the heart ?

Dangdut lets you goyang (swing your hips) and twiddle your thumbs without the pressure of being Keren (cool), or going to a fancy nightclub.

Dangdut speaks to your soul, the one that likes sop buntut or knows that nasi goreng from a Pedagang Kaki Lima (street vendor) tastes so much better than any 5 star chef could ever make.  And that’s you, mall goer, Blackberry user, iPhone user, Facebook member.

Embrace your inner Norakhood.

Look at what Dangdut has achieved. Ross and I, old enemies, now allies, joined by the spirit of the goyang. We once even engaged in an IM-sponsored insult fest. He called me abrasive, mean, mendacious and carnaptious; I called him a bacterial experiment from a petri dish. And yet now, Dangdut has united us as comrades.

We call on You, IM readers,

To join our campaign,

To help save the spirit of Freedom,

To help save TPI Dangdut.

Save Dangdut ! (TM)


12 Comments on “Save Dangdut! (TM)”

  1. avatar Ross says:

    Achmad is right! (never thought I’d type that!)
    Dangdut does indeed deserve the support of music-lovers. Treated as some sort of lower-class ear-fodder by the snob levels of Indonesian society, dangdut ipso facto must be a good thing, since if you have to have contact with such elements, you almost instantly grasp the shallowness of their mentality.

    Those who affect to despise dangdut are the sort whose intellectual horizons are bounded by their fancy malls, who go everywhere in their classy cars, never lowering themselves to travel by public transport, and to whom the travails of the struggling wong cilik are not so much dismissed from but rather never enter their consciousness.

    Dangdut’s rhythms are such that even an android could scarce forbear to respond to their seductive allure. No wonder the down-trodden find release in its melodies.
    TPI may disappear, but if that comes to pass, we should lobby the remaining channels to fill the goyang gap!

  2. avatar David says:

    Those who affect to despise dangdut are the sort whose intellectual horizons are bounded by their fancy malls, who go everywhere in their classy cars, never lowering themselves to travel by public transport, and to whom the travails of the struggling wong cilik are not so much dismissed from but rather never enter their consciousness.

    No. Gross exaggeration. I said on the other thread

    and the concerned middle class Indonesian standpoint to this is likely to be

    that TPI is rubbish. On my travels across blogs and forums I notice a very common view among Indonesian posters, that television like TPI is not edumacational and television is supposed to be edumacational and not kampungan. The people who give that view I don’t think in the majority are

    bounded by their fancy malls, who go everywhere in their classy cars, never lowering themselves to travel by public transport

    Nonsense. Some yes, not all.

  3. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    So Mr. Patoengs, do you support our campaigns ?

  4. avatar Deta says:

    I think the “kampungan”/ tacky impression of TPI is due to its orientation to take the segment of middle to lower class audiences while the upper class has been targeted by other stations such as Metro, or Trans TV. While they wrongly interpret that targeting the low class means less educational stuffs needed is something I agree they need to fix about.

    I also think that it is a matter of musical taste whether you like dangdut or not.
    But let me tell you something, my friends who brag about their jazz, blues, soul, hiphop collections can’t resist themselves to “goyang” when listening to dangdut music (sometimes they need a place to hide, poor things!). It runs naturally through their vein as Indonesians.

    Dangdut is the music of my country, my country, of my country…….

  5. avatar David says:

    So Mr. Patoengs, do you support our campaigns ?

    I guess, it’s kind of abstract isn’t it? I have no problem with dangdut on tv, don’t mind it at all. I’m trying to give Ross a more nuanced view of what the opposition to it might be and where it is coming from, it is not just from snobs cruising from mall to mall in their luxury cars, it’s also from ordinary, probably aspirational and not well off, folks.

  6. avatar Ross says:

    I don’t think we are in that much disagreement, Patung, since the fact that these ‘ordinary’ people are ‘aspirational’ may tend to make them ape the prejudices of those whose financial status they aspire to. Many folks I know cannot give any musical or even lucid explanation of why they ‘dislike’ dangdut, except to say it is kampung music, which brings us back to the snobby argument.

    And again, you can find this aloof, elitist arrogance against Country Music among the worst elements of America, not the fans of reggae or jazz or blues or hip-hop, who simply prefer their own faves, but among the East Coast intellectuals, who despise it simply because real Americans, who work for a living, like it.

  7. avatar timdog says:

    Though I have on occassion called it “ugly”, and while one of my most horrific travel experiences ever in Indonesia was spending six hours on a ferry from Sape, Sumbawa, to Labuanbajo, Flores with a Dangdut band from Bima, heading to play a show on Flores (they rigged up the gear and treated the passengers to a gratis performace for the entire duration. The ferry was small; there was no escape; several times I considered leaping overboard and taking my chances with sharks and Komodo dragons. Bimanese dangdut is decidely second-rate), I support your campaign messrs Achmad and Ross…

    Why? Well, despite Pak Patung’s admirable attempt to insert reason, I am generally with Ross. Ask one of those obnoxious mallrats Ross mentions what kind of people like dangdut and they will reply with a disgusted sneer: “My driver…” That’s reason enough to champion it. And yes indeed, the kampungs wouldn’t be the same without it (though I find it’s generally like Indian pop music or the smell of kreteks – richly evocative as a memory, but inclined to send me goyanging in the direction of the nearest earplugs when I actually encounter it)…

    Anyway, I don’t generally find any preferable alternatives amongst mainstream Indonesian pop music – well, some, but not many…

  8. avatar Ross says:

    Ya hit da nail on da head, Timdog. Good on ya!

  9. avatar madrotter says:

    i don’t mind dangdut, you can find beautiful music in this genre, it’s just too bad that all those little clubs in bandung that used to do jaipong at it’s hardest switched to dangdut

  10. avatar madrotter says:

    so i’m supporting this campaign too!;)

  11. avatar Ross says:

    Thought I’d check out the TPI schedule tonight (despite resistance from the pro-cinetron faction here, with Cinta Fitri almost concluding on SCTV)and, lo, there it was, good dangdut, entitled Dangdut Never Dies,
    TPI certainly seems to be surviving the reported bankruptcy! Bingung, dong!

  12. avatar BrotherMouzone says:

    @Ross

    TPI certainly seems to be surviving the reported bankruptcy!

    So the campaign was a success! Well done, everybody. Another testament to the democratic power of teh internets.

Comment on “Save Dangdut! (TM)”.

RSS
RSS feed
Email

Copyright Indonesia Matters 2006-18
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact